Modern Blogs by I AM Modern Magazine for Northern Virginia and Metro DC
General musings on all things related to the life of women in the Metro DC area.
I remember making promises on those sun-drenched beaches to one day expose our future children to new cultures in lifechanging destinations. We met families traveling with infants, toddlers and older kids who made it look easy. Their children splashed happily in the pool and sat quietly during meals. There was no doubt in our minds that our children would be sophisticated world travelers. Then we became parents of two rambunctious boys and realized our lofty aspirations would have to wait until they were older…much older. My kids can make a trip to the grocery store in a mini-van equipped with a DVD player look more difficult than crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe.
Over the last decade, Northern Virginia residents have proudly witnessed Gainesville expand through the growth of charming residential communities and the development of many restaurants, shops and small, local businesses. Modern Mom Media Corporation takes seriously their mission to advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs through advertising and features through their print and online publications, social media best practices and community outreach.
I AM Modern magazine is distributed locally to over 1500 offices, shops, restaurants and businesses and reaches over 200,000 unique readers in the greater Washington, DC area. This magazine, along with Modern DC Business, targets readers through dynamic online content and a wide variety of social media outlets in order to achieve optimal reach. As part of their stewardship of aiding local-business growth, Modern Mom Media Corporation invites business owners to learn more about either publication by visiting IAMModern.com or ModernDCBusiness.com, where they can find advertising rates and additional information about how their attentive, dedicated marketing team can help support local business.
I AM Modern is currently conducting its annual reader vote and reviews for their Best of Suburbia 2013 survey, which is a great way to draw community awareness to local businesses, restaurants and services. Businesses can also benefit from exposure on Modern Mom Media Corporation’s new community forum, AskCityGuru.com.
Fifty percent of marriages stay together— through sickness and through health, until ultimately death does them part. Nearly all of us walk down that aisle with the intention of being part of this exclusive group. Unfortunately, nearly half of us don't make the cut. If there were only some kind of blueprint to a successful marriage, a list of rules we could follow to remain as happy and in love as the day we said “I do.” Well, perhaps there is one, and maybe it's not as complicated as you imagined it would be to follow.
Simply start by memorizing this alliterative string of words: communication, compassion, courage, and compromise. Got it? Good. Now apply those four words to your own marriage. Believe it or not, the four C’s will provide a framework for you before and during your marriage. You have already heard that marriage can be difficult, but don’t forget it can also be one of the most rewarding adventures of your lifetime.
If you find yourself looking for a celebration beyond the Jordan Almond variety white wedding, you’re in good company. A Google search for “alternative weddings” will yield approximately 70 million hits. Scouring the information, you’ll find ideas from the gothic cemetery wedding (yes, the officiant will carry a scythe), to boutique, glamour-camping weddings in Ireland.
New Yorkers are getting hitched on the subway, and cyclists are saying “I do” on cross-country rides. There are suggestions for planning civil unions, commitment ceremonies, elopements, encore and destination weddings. Vow-renewal packages are offered from Vegas to Jamaica. And forget cupcakes. Parisian inspired doughnuts are the pièce de résistance – the ultimate, deepfried confection.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Jon. I fell in love with him in 10th grade. Twenty-five years ago we got married right out of college and took these simple vows: I take you to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ‘till death do us part. Saying the words in front of hundreds of friends and family was the easy part. Living those vows every day for the past 25 years has been hard work worth doing.
To Have and to Hold
We decided to view marriage as an adventure. The day after we got married, we took our wedding gift money and headed East in a borrowed car. It took us three days just to get from our hometown in Illinois to Ohio – we were newlyweds, and we had more important things to do than driving the open road. One morning Jon called the consulting firm where he interned to tell them we would be in the area. As I sat on the hood of the car eating an Egg McMuffin, he stepped into the “Clark Kent” style phone booth. After a couple of minutes he said, “Hey Trish, they offered me a job. It pays $16,000 per year. Want to move to Washington, D.C.?” So we plunked down all of our cash on an apartment in D.C., drove back to Illinois, packed everything we owned into half of a small Ryder truck, bought a car with nothing but our word and our smiles and began that adventure.
The times have certainly changed. In the 1800s, the bridal shower was originally an occasion where women helped pay a bride’s dowry, but this has transformed over the years into “showering” the bride with domestic supplies from crock pots and ironing boards to a naughty negligee and heated massage oils.
There are a lot of details that go into planning an unforgettable bridal shower from choosing a location and theme to managing the guest list, but there is no reason to panic. There is a theme that will match your bride’s personality perfectly, and this “No Boys Allowed” time will be just what she needs before her big day!
Today’s design savvy bride is all about being chic and unique. Sites such as Etsy and Pinterest, of course, are great sites for creative ideas, but you want to make sure your guest book is a reflection of your personality, wedding theme or venue.
Are you dreaming of a wedding on the beach? Plop a toy bucket full of shells on a table with colorful markers for guests to decorate and add their wishes. Are you a wine lover? Set beautiful empty wine bottles around and let guests roll up slips of paper and add their “message in a bottle.” Having a garden or outdoor wedding? Plop some river rocks – clean, of course – in a flower pot for guests to sign. Simply spray them later with a clear gloss acrylic to keep the messages from fading. Like jigsaw puzzles? Order a custom-made puzzle with a photo of you and your partner, and let guests sign the back of the pieces. You’ll have fun reassembling it later. Are you having a vintage wedding? Find an old, but working, vintage typewriter. Add a sheet of paper (with extra paper nearby) and let your guests tap into their own creativity with poems, notes or novels. Well, maybe you want to place a word limit on that one!
You have cut the cake, tossed the bouquet and relaxed on the beach in the Caribbean. You are tan, happy and have returned from your honeymoon ready to start your new life together as Mr. & Mrs. But before you get too comfy in your new matching robes and slippers, there is still one very important thing the two of you need to do. You now need to write all of your thank you notes.
In today’s fast-paced, technological world, writing a thank you note by hand may seem old fashioned and a waste of time. You may be thinking, “We said thank you to everyone at the wedding!” or “Why can’t we send a quick but personal email?” The purpose of a handwritten note is to let your friends and family know that you have taken the time to convey a personal message of caring and gratefulness. These are people with whom you’ve have an emotional bond – one that prompted you to invite them to your wedding. You owe it to those who have taken time out of their busy lives – not to mention money out of their pockets – to attend your nuptials and bring (or send) you a gift. As daunting of a task as it may seem to write 150 (more or less) thank you cards, with a positive attitude, your new spouse by your side and these helpful Dos and Don’ts, you will be able to manage the task at hand.
It’s easy for couples to lose sight of the fact that their wedding day is actually the first day of their marriage. More often than not, they’ll tell you the budget was blown months ago. And even though they started out with good intentions, somewhere along the way things went horribly wrong – the wedding took on a dreaded life of its own. With a solid plan in place that helps you navigate the wedding planning process, you can avoid falling into that trap. By breaking down the big picture into manageable segments, prioritizing your needs and knowing when and how to compromise, you can have the wedding day of your dreams.
To agonize over our names seems silly. After all, it’s just a few words. Certainly our identities are bigger than an arrangement of letters or one particular link to our families, heritages or hometowns. Yet when the time comes, many women agonize over that choice: Do I or don’t I change my name? When I married at 24, I was nearly finished with a graduate degree and already publishing, at least sporadically. Though I wasn’t yet established enough for a name change to have a significant bearing on my professional life, I hoped that I’d go on to develop a substantive writing career and, perhaps selfishly, I didn’t want any future accomplishments of mine credited to a different family. I wanted my father to see my name in print as his name also, imagining that the pride he was sure to feel would be more satisfying this way.